Jail construction issue prompts vote against paying contractor


Linn County Commissioners questioned issues with temporary bolts, concrete replacement during Monday's meeting. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)


MOUND CITY – The Linn County Commissioners approved paying bills for the week by a split vote of 2 to 1 during their meeting on Monday, Sept. 20.


Commissioner Jim Johnson voted against payment to River City, the construction company for the jail, and then also voted no on the weekly claims because it included that amount.


Before voting to pay the bills, Commissioner Chair Rick James asked Bill Matlock from River City to give his report.


James said that he had heard that a local person had looked at the project and they had determined that the bolts were not correct. He added that apparently the person had broached the subject in an undiplomatic manner with Matlock.


James said that he had called the architect and Warren Mooney, the constructions manager, and they said they would send the reports explaining the situations.

Matlock later explained that he was well aware of the bolts that were in and that the third party inspector who was there had also mentioned that they needed to get different bolts in before there was a load on the roof.


Linn County Commissioner Danny McCullough said he did not know why it was such a huge issue that the bolts were in temporarily while they were getting their spacing set up and there was no load on the project.


McCullough said it was not fair to River City to have people from the public walking through the project and criticizing the work.


Johnson wanted to know what happened on the concrete issue.


Matlock asked if he meant the patch in the cell area. He said that issues do occur and when they do they fix them according to the architect’s desires. The patch will be covered with epoxy and will not be noticeable.


Johnson asked if the area would have an extended warranty, Matlock said it was guaranteed like the rest of the floor.

Matlock told the commissioners that everything they had concerns about and the corrections would be backed up in writing and sent to the commissioners.

James said that he just wanted everything documented and in the minutes in case there were any issues with the structure in the future.


Votes were taken on the River City payment of $2,246,904.45 and on the weekly claims of $2,515,190.78 and Johnson voted against both payments.

In a separate interview, Johnson said that he wanted to have the written reports about those concerns. He wanted to know why the concrete had buckled in the first place, if the problem had been fixed and if the engineer had signed off on the solution.

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